El Grito De Lares Club Provides Place for Fordham’s Hispanic Students


El Grito de Lardes Club is presented as USG Club of the Month.

On Oct. 1, El Grito de Lares announced that it had been chosen as Rose Hill’s United Student Government’s (USG) club of the month for September.
El Grito de Lares first appeared on Fordham’s campus in 2015 and has since become a space in which Hispanic students can feel safe discussing their heritage, community and experience as Hispanic people.

As club president Monica Santiago, GSB ‘22, said, it can be hard for people who identify as Hispanic to find a safe space on a campus like Fordham’s.
“In a PWI [Predominantly White Institution], it’s easy for us to feel alone or like we don’t fit in anywhere,” Santiago said. “But coming together twice a month in a room full of students with similar interests, features and backgrounds makes being the only student of color in every class feel more manageable.”

El Grito de Lares operates with heavy involvement on campus, with club activities ranging from more traditional biweekly meetings for open discussions to more creative outlets that highlight cultural or individual interests within the club.

An example Santiago provided is the club’s recent trip to El Museo del Barrio, which “is a museum on Museum Mile that celebrates Hispanic heritage year-round,” she explained. Other events hosted by El Grito de Lares include a Latine talent show and networking event, a yearly open mic and events at the end of October celebrating Dia de los Muertos.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, El Grito has been able to figure out how to transform a club whose pull to inclusivity is massively physical into a virtual success as well. “Our Instagram page has become another important part of our club!” said Santiago. “We have some virtual-only events that students can participate in through the account.”

A recent example of El Grito’s virtual only events include a “Rep Your Heritage” event in which students could send photos and videos from their home country to the club.

“This is a great way for members and students from Lincoln Center to connect with each other even if they can’t make the meetings,” Santiago said.
In honor of the amount of work El Grito does on campus, USG voted and named it their club of the month. Arianna Chen, FCRH ’22, the executive vice president of USG, said, “We’re so glad to have the opportunity to continue recognizing the hard work and dedication to community engagement from student organizations across our campus. Especially with the onset of Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize and deeply appreciate the wonderful, thoughtful multicultural programs put forth by El Grito de Lares.”

Santiago responded to the recognition, stating, “We are honored to have been recognized by USG as September’s club of the month! Because Hispanic Heritage Month starts two weeks into the semester, we usually have to plan before the semester even starts. We were so happy that our efforts and commitment to the club were recognized and paid off.”

Moving forward, the club does not plan on losing any of the steam it has accumulated so far, said Santiago. The club has already planned out several events following their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, including the club’s iconic Latin Gala, which has not been hosted since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, Latin Gala will be returning bigger than ever!” Santiago said. Santiago also noted the club’s use of LinkedIn to provide its members with resources like networking, internships and job opportunities.

The cultural and historical context fueling the club is important to the foundation of the club’s ethos. The name “El Grito de Lares” is not so important for what it translates to (the Cry of Lares), but for what it symbolizes in the Hispanic community, Santiago explained. According to Santiago, the name is “a reference to the biggest revolt of liberation in Puerto Rico. People rebelled against Spanish rule’s unfair sovereignty and, though it was not a successful revolution, it did make a heavy impact on the island.”

“[The name is] a symbol of Hispanic pride, strength, and bravery,” she said.

Students can learn more about El Grito de Lares and get involved in the club by visiting its official Instagram page, @elgritodelares.